Moisture and Condensation Problems - June 20th 2003


Moisture and Condensation Problems



Dear Shell,

I am writing on behalf of our daughter and son-in-Law, who live just outside of Winnipeg. Our question is this. What is the best way to control the humidity in the home without the use of the Humidex System. (see below) They have experienced dampness and a musty odor in the basement, as well as mold in corners of the bedrooms on the main floor. The House: Bungalow approximately 1600 sq.ft. The basement is finished. Main source of heat is a wood burning stove in the basement. They have an electric forced-air furnace that is rarely used except for the one speed fan. Water source is a cistern and pond for grey water. The main bathroom is tub and shower with fan that is used! There is no shower in the two piece bathroom downstairs. They have a JennAir stove top with fan that is used as well as a fireplace in the main floor family room. They have had MB Hydro PowerSmart do an assessment on their home and are slowly making the recommended updates. However, they raised their concern with high humidity in the house and asked about installing a Humidex System. They were advised not to due to creating negative pressure and drawing dangerous fumes into the home. Prior to this they had spoken with a supplier about their concern and asked them about the Humidex. They also advised them that the Humidex System is not designed for Manitoba Winters. They have been diligent in running fans and this past winter stored all firewood outside. They do have three small children so the bath/shower and washer/dryer and in constant use. Things were better this winter, but they are now concerned about the summer and are considering a dehumidifier. Before we do anything further, we have decided to "talk to the expert". Shell, what do you recommend and why is the Humidex System not recommended for Winnipeg?


Barb/Jim




Dear Barb and Jim,


First of all, there would be no problem installing a Humidex system in Winnipeg as long as proper make up air is provided (as outlined in the installation instructions). Humidex even manufactures a passive HRV system to preheat incoming fresh air.

My first choice for this application however, would be to install a good "Heat Recovery Ventilation" (HRV) system such as those offered by LifeBreath (www.lifebreath.com) that provides an energy efficient way to remove moisture from within the home and bring in an adequate supply of fresh air. Visit the LifeBreath website for more information and to locate the name of an approved installation dealer near you.

It's Just That Easy!

Shell